Most high school graduates dream of the time when they leave home and start fresh in college, but for Rutledge native Carin Hill, a hobby turned into a hope fulfilled when she established her own photography business right out of high school.
“I didn’t start photography with the intentions of making it a business,” Hill said. “I always just viewed it as a hobby, but the more I had sessions and saw other photographers doing it full-time, it inspired me.”
Hill said she got her first camera for her 16th birthday.
“I started taking photos of my friends and sisters for fun and I quickly fell in love with it,” Hill said. “I love creating and showing others what magic you can make through a camera.”
After two years of shooting for fun, Hill graduated from Morgan County High School in 2019.
“For half of my high school career I had the idea of going to college for cosmetology and maybe doing cheerleading,” Hill said. “Once I got injured my senior year, I think I started to re-think all of my options. In the back of my head, I knew I wanted to pursue photography over cosmetology, but I was nervous because society makes you feel you have to attend college to be successful. I started to pray a lot about it, and the Lord made it clear to me that photography was His plan for me. So I took the leap of faith and went for it.”
Hill said during her time at MCHS she had the chance to take classes, such as the teaching pathway to find out what her niche was, or in that case wasn’t. She said her economics class also prepared her for real world things that have helped with starting her own business.
“I think the biggest thing I’ve learned from owning my own business would be the business side,” Hill said. “As a 19-year-old, I am still learning a lot about taxes and things. So that has been the biggest challenge, but that is just part of it.”
When asked what she would tell someone that wants to start their own business, Hill said, “don’t worry about the opinions of others.”
“No matter what you do in life, there are going to be those people that try to bring you down,” Hill said. “I’ve had plenty people judge me for not going to college, but I rest in the fact that I am doing what I love, and doing it for the glory of the Lord.”
Instead of books and cramming for finals, Hill’s weekends are usually filled with wedding or lifestyle photo shoots. She said weekdays are more computer work, like editing hours and hours of wedding photos, sending pricing guides to future clients and NY CRO updating spreadsheets or picking locations for lifestyle sessions.
Hill’s favorite photos to take are weddings.
“I love cultivating relationships with couples that last after their wedding,” Hill said. “It’s so special to play a small role in their big day and getting to help them celebrate.”
Hill said that it’s too hard to pick a most memorable moment of her photography career.
“I think something that always means a lot to me is getting a message from a bride telling me how much they appreciate my help throughout their wedding day,” Hill said. “It just means a lot that my work never goes unnoticed.”
She said while there are so many things she loves about her job, her favorite thing is making her clients feel good about themselves.
“Nothing makes me happier than getting a text from a client telling me thank you for making them feel beautiful and comfortable in front of the camera,” Hill said.
Hill said she is forever grateful for each of her clients, her family and friends that have supported her since day one of her photography journey. SSING